Monday, March 21, 2005


Beating a Master in 20 Moves

My second victory against a master, a USCF Life Master, was more thrilling and fulfilling than the first, which I still have yet to post.

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 e6 3. f4 Nc6 4. Bb5 Nge7 5. Nf3 a6 6. Bxc6 Nxc6 7. O-O b5 8. d3 Bb7
The game begins in reasonable fashion. Typically with the Sicilian – Grand Prix variation, White seeks to trade off his white bishop for Black’s queenside knight and double the pawns on the c-file. Black has chosen a variation to replace his queenside knight with his kingside. I didn’t think retreating the bishop after a6 was worthwhile so I traded it off anyway. I would say that this position is even.

9. Qe1 g6 White moves to begin a kingside attack and black tries to fianchetto his king’s bishop, which is common in the Sicilian, but in this variation it looks out of place. 10. e5 I was to block his bishop in at g7, but more importantly try to maneuver a knight from c3-e4-either f6 or d6. I think black may have had a better try with Nd4 here to prevent Ne4. I also could have played f5 myself with Bg5 to follow. Chessmaster (CM) rates e5 as the best move at 0.20 advantage for me. (Remember a 1.0 advantage is considered 1 pawn)

10....f5?! Better for black would have been d5 or Nd4. CM gives me a 0.86 advantage 11. exf6 Qxf6 12. Nd5! Qd8 The black queen has only one square to go to as he must protect c7.

13. f5 Nd4 I try to sacrifice my f pawn in order to put the bishop on g5. Black tries to play actively which is good. 14. Nxd4 Bxd5 These two moves are rather forced and natural on both sides, but my advantage is 2.37. 15. Qe5! Rg8? This is the only square the rook can move to, however, in hindsight foregoing the rook and playing actively would have been better. 15...Qh4 was looked at immediately after the game and CM gives 15...gxf5 16. Qxh8 cxd4 17. Bh6 Qe7.

16. fxe6! dxe6 If 16…Bxe6 17. Nxe6 dxe6 18. Qxe6+ wins the rook on g7. Also note that the bishop is hanging after fxe6, so black must do something to save it as well. Other moves also allow exd7+.

17. Nxe6 Bd6 Black cannot play Qe7 because of Nc7+ winning a piece. Now I originally thought that 18. Qxd5 loses to Bxh2+ winning the queen (and so did my opponent), but subsequent analysis shows that 19. Kxh2 Qxd5 20. Nxc7! wins the queen back. However 18. Ng7+! Kd7 19. Qxd5 Rxg7 20. Bf4 Black cannot save the bishop. If 20…Kc7 21. Bxd6+ Qxd6 22. Qxa8 wins a rook instead. 1-0

Congratulations on a very compelling win! Once your opponent had slipped up, you did a superb job of never letting him out of the bag!

Awesome!!! I hope that one day I get the honor of beating a master. That rocks.
You've certainly picqued my interest in the Grand Prix Attack for the Sicilian! Congratulations!
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